NASCAR Mexico Established; NASCAR Partners with OCESA to Create Local Base of Operations
MEXICO CITY (August 5, 2004) -- The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today announced NASCAR Mexico, a new base of operations in Mexico that will support and build local stock car racing in Mexico as well as develop, manage and operate local motorsports events and oversee television distribution, sponsorship and licensing.
NASCAR Mexico, a partnership between NASCAR and OCESA, a subsidiary of CIE, the leading live entertainment company in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets of the world, will oversee marketing and licensing for the NASCAR and NASCAR Mexico brands in Mexico. The venture will create marketing programs to increase interest in local NASCAR events as well as NASCAR events in the U.S. that are televised in Mexico. It will also seek to attract corporate support of stock car racing from companies based in Mexico and throughout North America.
In addition to the NASCAR Mexico venture, NASCAR and OCESA are working on a number of other important initiatives in the market, including a NASCAR Busch Series event in Mexico City in 2005 and the launch of Desafio Corona, the country's first national stock series. The Desafio Corona series currently encompasses 14 events throughout Mexico and will offer Mexican drivers a unique and meaningful platform to compete and develop their skills in high-quality, competitive racing.
"This important step in NASCAR's expansion demonstrates our long-term commitment to building stock car racing in Mexico and making the sport more attractive to Mexican fans throughout Mexico and the U.S.," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. "NASCAR Mexico is a bridge that makes NASCAR more relevant to the Mexican-American community. Along with recently launched NASCAR Canada, NASCAR Mexico gives our sport a strong and unified presence across North America."
"Working with NASCAR to bring the sport to one of the best, and most historic facilities in the world, shows our joint commitment to Mexican motorsports and fulfills our promise to turn our national series into a breeding ground for drivers who will represent Mexico in NASCAR in the future," said George Gonzalez, General Director for OCESA, the entertainment branch of CIE, and responsible for the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez facility.
"We are proud that CIE, the largest entertainment company in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world which has relationships with eight million consumers each year, has chosen NASCAR as
a partner," said George Pyne, Chief Operating Officer for NASCAR. "NASCAR Mexico will launch the NASCAR brand in Mexico, create a sound model for motorsports in Mexico, and bring unique opportunities to new and existing sponsors in the sport. Just as NASCAR Canada extends the trading area of NASCAR sponsors to the north of the U.S., NASCAR Mexico will provide marketing opportunities across our nation's southern border as well."
A number of NASCAR sponsors expressed their desire to support the new venture.
"Nextel has long been committed to serving the Hispanic market in the United States, so NASCAR's expansion into Mexico is really exciting," said Mark Schweitzer, senior vice president of marketing for Nextel. "One of our core goals for the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SeriesÔ sponsorship is to connect fans with the sport through Nextel's products and technology. Our recent launch of Nextel International Direct ConnectSM digital walkie-talkie service in Mexico with NII Holdings offers a natural extension to Nextel's marketing and technological support for NASCAR."
"As the Official Pizza of NASCAR in the U.S., we are thrilled NASCAR is expanding into Mexico," said Ken Calwell, Executive Vice President, Build the Brand, Domino's Pizza. "Domino's Pizza is the number-one quick-serve restaurant in Mexico with nearly 500 stores in the country. NASCAR's expansion into Mexico can enable us to reach even more NASCAR fans on an international level."
"As an official sponsor of NASCAR, and the largest Home Improvement retailer in the U.S. and Mexico, we are excited to see this expansion for the sport," said John Costello, Executive Vice-President of Merchandising and Marketing, The Home Depot. "Mexico is very important to The Home Depot, and we look forward to leveraging our position both on and off the track."
"From our standpoint, NASCAR is a great match for our Budweiser and Busch brands because it delivers our core consumers - adult beer drinkers between the ages of 21 and 34 years old," said Tony Ponturo, Vice President of Global Media & Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "At Anheuser-Busch, we've been involved in stock car racing for several decades through our 'official beer' status of NASCAR and our sponsorships of popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., the NASCAR Busch Series, the weekly Bud Pole Award and the annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. As NASCAR continues to expand its reach to various demographics, we look forward to reaching out to these important beer drinkers as well."
In creating new fans, NASCAR Mexico will seek to increase NASCAR's television presence in Mexico across the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, NASCAR Busch and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races are currently broadcast in Mexico via relationships with Fox Sports Latin America and SPEED Channel. A recent relationship with Televisa aims to enhance NASCAR's coverage in the market.
"Research shows that the NASCAR brand is borderless," said Robbie Weiss, Director of International for NASCAR. "Fans all over the world can appreciate the sport's thrilling speed and close, side-by-side competition. NASCAR is a lifestyle that offers family-oriented entertainment people get excited about. Fans look up to our drivers and enjoy the sport as a family."
Worldwide fan demand, combined with the power of the NASCAR brand and the quality of the competition, has fueled interest in NASCAR by broadcasters around the world. NASCAR is now seen in more than 150 countries and in 23 languages. This year, NASCAR's international broadcast partners will air more than 4,000 hours of NASCAR-related programming outside the U.S.
Founded in 1990, Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento, S.A. de C.V. ("CIE") is now the leading live entertainment company serving the Spanish and Portuguese - speaking markets in Latin America, the United States, and Spain. Through a unique vertical integration structure, the Company has an equity stake in each of the companies which make up the following principal CIE recreational and entertainment products and services: the operation of entertainment venues and amusement parks; the promotion and staging of a wide variety of live events; the promotion of trade fairs and exhibitions; the sale of sponsorships and advertising, as well as food, beverage and merchandise at events and venues; automated ticketing for public events. The Company also participates in the film industry by producing and distributing films, and is active in e-commerce through the development of a vertical entertainment portal. Since 1995, CIE's shares have been traded on the Mexican Stock Exchange ("BMV"), under the symbol "CIE B".
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of America's premier sports. NASCAR's three major national series are the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. These events are now broadcast in more than 150 countries. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in Charlotte, Concord, N.C., Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City and Toronto, NASCAR sanctions 1,800 races at 120 tracks in 38 states.
Research shows that its fans are three times as likely to try and purchase its sponsors' products compared to companies not involved in NASCAR.